Classroom Dynamics – TESOL SPAIN 2012


In a few days I’ll be in Bilbao for the much expected TESOL Spain 2012 – Annual Convention.

The title of my talk is:

Classroom Dynamics: decentralizing = engagement

Day:  Saturday, 10 March.    Time: 18:15-19:15     Room: 005


I will also have a poster:

Complexity Theory & ELT

There will be a poster competition. I don’t know the prize. But I want it! 😉


These two pieces of work are significant checkpoints of my working exploration of a complexity-ecological understanding of education and language learning.

In the talk and poster I draw primarily from the work of Leo van Lier (in Ecology) and Diane Larsen-Freeman (in Complexity Theory), as theoretical and exploratory frameworks. I also have as an underlying principle a sociocultural (Vygotsky, Wertsch, Lantolf) and dialogic (Bakhtin) perspective of what language is and how it is learned.

In the title of the talk I claim that decentralizing brings engagement. I will support this claim with examples derived from my own practice, which present decentralization at three levels: time, space, and interaction. And I use a week of negotiated and emergent syllabus to better illustrate them. This is the main practical block of the talk.

Speaking of being practical, I’m very glad I was able to put theory and practice as close as I did in this material. Although I’ve been using the word theory, complexity and ecology for me are more like ‘a way of thinking and doing’. Of the things I think and do as an English teacher, I believe some can provoke thoughts, reflection and critical discussions when shared; this is the aim of the talk and the poster.

By sharing I open a conversation channel with other practitioners, and by engaging in conversation not only do I develop my thinking and doing, but others develop theirs too – and that’s for me the true sense of professional community.

Conferences promote this sense of professional community, and that’s why I’m always excited when I get to attend one.

Some slides I will use (or not):

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